Residents of a housing complex in Christchurch are feeling edgy following an arson attack on a neighbour's flat.
A unit at Brougham Village was set alight late on Saturday night.
Police say an elderly woman who lived alone in the flat, would have been killed if a smoke alarm had not woken her.
Part of the unit was destroyed and the rest is badly damaged by smoke and water.
Several residents say petty crime such as tagging and break-ins have increased lately and they are anxious for their safety.
Brougham Village is owned by Christchurch City Council which says it has not been made aware of any problems at the 90-unit complex.
Council officials will consider on Monday whether security is necessary.